Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley


  |   June 10, 2013  |  Comment


The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum announces the completion of the first renovation of the Library building since it opened in 1941. The National Archives and Records Administration will formally open the Library’s new state-of-the-art permanent museum exhibits on June 30, 2013 (museum visitors can see the exhibits between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., regular admission fees apply). An invitation-only, private Rededication Ceremony — scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on June 30 — will be webcast live at www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu.


A full-scale renovation of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum began in May 2010. With the exception of two wings added in 1972 in honor of Mrs. Roosevelt, it is the first renovation of the Roosevelt Library since it was opened to the public on June 30, 1941. The project consisted of two phases over three years with a budget of $35 million in federal funding. The renovation brings the Library’s archives and museum up to the National Archives’s standards for the preservation of historic collections, while carefully preserving the building’s historic appearance.

New Museum Exhibits

The Roosevelt Library’s new permanent museum exhibits are being installed with $6 million in private funds raised by the Roosevelt Institute, the Library’s private, non-profit partner. The new exhibits tell the story of the Roosevelt presidency beginning in the depths of the Great Depression and continuing through the New Deal and World War II with an emphasis on both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s relationship with the American people. Special interactives, immersive audio-visual theaters, and rarely seen artifacts will convey the dramatic story of the Roosevelt era as the Roosevelt Library brings a “New Deal to a New Generation.”

Special Interactives

The new museum contains many interactive exhibits including touch screen experiences at the Oval Office Desk and FDR’s Ford Phaeton. “Confront the Issues” are ten interactive touch screens strategically located throughout the exhibition that offer visitors the opportunity to explore digital “flipbooks” that contain documents, photographs, and excerpts from historians — with multiple viewpoints — related to controversial issues during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. Topics include “Japanese American Internment,” “FDR and the Holocaust,” “FDR’s Health,” and “Did the New Deal Really Work?”

Immersive Audio-Visual Theaters

The new galleries will feature two immersive Fireside Chat Environments. Each of these environments will have a radio and period furnishings, inviting visitors to sit and listen. After the Chat audio concludes, visitors can hear readings of actual letters — representing a variety of opinions — giving the visitor a chance to hear how Americans felt about the president’s leadership during the Depression and World War II.

The 500 square foot Map Room exhibit recreates FDR’s secret White House Map Room. The walls within the room will also feature projections of maps and timelines of key battles and decisions, as well as animations. Visitors will be able to follow along with the maps just as FDR did, and understand the importance and context of his strategies.

At the center of the Map Room will be six interactive tables featuring animation and videos, spotlights on key countries and meetings that took place during the war, and trivia quiz opportunities. It will also display memos, calendars, and multiple maps used by FDR and his military advisers.

Rarely Seen Artifacts

“Behind the Scenes” provides visitors with an extraordinary opportunity to see large numbers of museum objects that don’t appear in the permanent exhibition. This special area of the new museum features storerooms with large glass viewing areas making it possible for visitors to get a special peek into the collections of the President and First Lady. Here, visitors can see FDR’s model ship collection, his 1936 Ford Phaeton (with hand-controls), Val-Kill furniture, family paintings and portraits, New Deal art and gifts of state.

For more information visit www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu

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